10 Best Sony Portrait Lenses // 2021 Buyer’s Guide

This is a guide covering the best Sony portrait lenses.

In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:

  • Best overall Sony portrait lens
  • Best budget Sony portrait lens
  • Pros and cons
  • Price
  • Important features
  • And more

Let’s dive in.

10 Best Sony Portrait Lenses

Click/tap on each lens name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!

In a hurry? Check out our top pick!

1. Sony 55mm F1.8
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8
– Realistic colors
– Works well indoors or in a studio setting
– Great in creating bokeh

Sony is an underrated brand when it comes to photography in general.

It is easy to overlook Sony as a brand considering the bigger brands in the market such as Nikon and Canon.

If you are into shooting portraits and you happened to be using a Sony camera, we’ve come up with some of the best Sony portrait lenses that you can choose from.

You will know which one works for your needs, budget, and find out more about some of their strong and weak points.

1. Sony 55mm F1.8
BEST ALL-AROUND
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8
– Realistic colors
– Works well indoors or in a studio setting
– Great in creating bokeh
2. Sony – E 50mm F1.8
BEST BUDGET LENS
Sony – E 50mm F1.8
– Great stabilization feature to prevent blurring
– Quiet motor
– Can create beautiful bokeh
3. Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4
Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4
– Produces sharp images
– Can create great bokeh
– Has the ability to give you a wider perspective
– Easy to switch from MF and AF
– Moisture and dust resistant
4. Sony SEL1655G Alpha 16-55mm F2.8
Sony SEL1655G Alpha 16-55mm F2.8
– Decent range for portraits and for taking landscape photos
– Easy to switch from MF to AF
– Vibrant colors
– Good for taking videos
5. Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8
– Handy when used indoors
– Produces great bokeh
– Quiet AF motor
– Vibrant colors
– Produces sharp results
6. Sony 24-70mm f/4
Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario-Tessar
– Gyro sensor allows great stability in shots
– Vibrant colors
– Good range
7. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4
Sony FE 85mm f/1.4
– Allows you to shoot indoors
– Creates beautiful bokeh
– Lets the photographer work at a certain distance from the subject
8. Sony – FE 50mm F1.8
Sony – FE 50mm F1.8
– Lightweight and compact
– Vibrant colors
– Delivers beautiful bokeh
– Great for indoor shots
9. Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6
Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6
– Quiet and accurate AF
– Sharp results
– Vibrant colors
– Good range
10. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8
Sony FE 70-200mm F4
– Great range
– Easy to use with its great stabilization
– Vibrant colors
– Moisture and dust resistant

What is the Overall Best Portrait Lens for Sony

1. Sony 55mm F1.8

Sony FE 55mm f/1.8

The Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens is on the top of our list.

Since it is an FE lens, it works fine on APS-C cameras without any problem.

However, we still feel that this is best used on a full-frame camera. Is it the best portrait lens for Sony cameras? Maybe.

It stands out from the rest of the best Sony portrait lenses as it is known for its great contrast, not to mention its ability to produce beautiful bokeh with its F1.8 wide aperture.

It is also unbelievably sharp and easy to use whether you are outdoors or shooting in a studio. It is the epitome of Carl Zeiss lenses that brings realistic colors to its users.

If you are also going to use it on APS-C cameras, you might find yourself dealing with stability issues.

Sony FE 55mm f/1.8
Sony 55mm F1.8 example image – Source
Pros
  • Realistic colors
  • Works well indoors or in a studio setting
  • Great in creating bokeh
Cons
  • A bit higher investment for beginners
  • Stability issues when used on APS-C

→ Jump Back to Table

What is the Best Budget Portrait Lens for Sony

2. Sony – E 50mm F1.8

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

Let’s say that you are in the market for the best Sony Portrait Lenses and you don’t want to invest a lot into a lens.

The good news is that you can still get a decent portrait lens even if you are not draining your bank account in the process.

A good option for such is the Sony-E 50mm F1.8 OSS Portrait Lens.

You get a good aperture that can create wonderful bokeh. On top of that, you get a versatile focal length that can be used for multiple scenarios.

It has that compact design that makes it easy to use as well. And even if you don’t have steady hands, offers an image stabilization feature that can minimize wasted shots.

And since it has a quiet motor, it is also a favorite among videographers.

A few things that you might not like about this lens is the fact that the autofocus isn’t fast enough for a lot of people.

Sony – E 50mm F1.8 OSS
Sony – E 50mm F1.8 example image – Source
Pros
  • Great stabilization feature to prevent blurring
  • Quiet motor
  • Can create beautiful bokeh
Cons
  • Autofocus isn’t so fast

→ Jump Back to Table

3. Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4

Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4

A lot of people who are into portrait photography will most likely skip wide-angle lenses thinking that it is simply for taking photos of landscapes.

In reality, there are a growing number of photographers who keep a wide-angle lens for shooting portraits.

Their reason is that it can include more background and even include the entire body when they are shooting.

The Sony E-Mount FE 24mm F1.4 GM Full Frame wide-angle lens is best for creating bokeh.

But unlike the 50mm that will usually just capture the face or half body, the 24mm wide-angle lens can give photographers a wider perspective.

It offers vibrant colors, impressive sharpness, and superior quiet autofocus that makes it easy to use for both pros and novice photographers alike.

If you opt to use the manual focus ring, this lens has a switch by the side making it easy to change from AF to MF. It is also dust and moisture resistant that adds up to its durability.

Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4
Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4 example image – Source
Pros
  • Produces sharp images
  • Can create great bokeh
  • Has the ability to give you a wider perspective
  • Easy to switch from MF and AF
  • Moisture and dust resistant
Cons
  • Bigger investment

→ Jump Back to Table

4. Sony SEL1655G Alpha 16-55mm F2.8

Sony SEL1655G Alpha 16-55mm F2.8

There are instances when people don’t have the money to spend on prime lenses. Also, there are instances when photographers want a wider shot and a 50mm lens.

The Alpha 16-55mm F2.8 G Standard APS-C zoom lens is a great pick if you want the best of both worlds.

It comes in as a budget-friendly alternative to investing in a higher invested individual prime lenses.

The quality of the shots isn’t exactly lagging compared to some of the best Sony portrait lenses in the market. The aperture is also wide enough to handle shooting indoors.

However, it doesn’t produce the bokeh that you’d like compared to let’s say a 50mm F1.8 lens. Using this lens is also handy since you can get to switch between AF and MF easily.

You can just use the switch by the side of the lens.

If you are going to use its MF, it has a precise MF ring that is even more practical when the lens is used for taking videos.

Sony SEL1655G Alpha 16-55mm F2.8
Sony SEL1655G Alpha 16-55mm F2.8 example image – Source
Pros
  • Decent range for portraits and for taking landscape photos
  • Easy to switch from MF to AF
  • Vibrant colors
  • Good for taking videos
Cons
  • Only limited to F2.8 aperture

→ Jump Back to Table

5. Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8

Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8

The Sony SEL35F18 35mm F1.8 prime lens is easier to use compared to its 24mm F1.8 counterpart.

It is a top choice for those who are looking for the best Sony Portrait lenses.

One of the few things that we’ve noticed is that it is lightweight and compact. It is easy to use given its weight, plus you get a slightly wider perspective compared to the 50mm prime lens.

Since many are using this for shooting videos, expect the motor to be quiet. It also comes with an image stabilization feature to minimize wasted shots along the way.

The best thing about this lens is that it can perform well in low-light conditions. It is easy to use even indoors. Plus, you can get amazing bokeh with the Sony SEL35F18 35mm F1.8 lens.

The downside is that it’s a crop lens. Also, the autofocus is a bit slow and inaccurate when used under the sun.

Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8
Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 example image – Source
Pros
  • Handy when used indoors
  • Produces great bokeh
  • Quiet AF motor
  • Vibrant colors
  • Produces sharp results
Cons
  • Hard to use the autofocus under the sun
  • Crop lens

→ Jump Back to Table

6. Sony 24-70mm f/4

Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario-Tessar

If you are looking for a zoom lens that can act as a portrait lens, macro lens, and wide-angle lens, then you might want to consider the Sony 24-70mm F4 T FE OSS full frame zoom lens.

This lens is all you need in case you are shooting in well-lighted scenarios. The aperture isn’t as wide as some photographers wanted it.

Unfortunately, it also doesn’t give a good bokeh in case you want the effect of blurring the background in your shots.

The quality of the shots is superb. It produces sharp results and even has vibrant warm colors.

This lens even has a Zeiss T anti-reflective coating that can minimize flare. If you will look at its Gyro sensors, this comes in handy when it comes to adjusting precisely to counteract possible blurring in your images.

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8
Sony SEL1655G Alpha 16-55mm F2.8 example image – Source
Pros
  • Gyro sensor allows great stability in shots
  • Vibrant colors
  • Good range
Cons
  • Aperture is not as wide enough for indoor shots

→ Jump Back to Table

7. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4

Shooting your subject from a distance is a great way to make the model feel comfortable.

And most of the time, 50mm prime lenses can’t get the job done. That is the reason why some photographers choose an 85mm lens over a 50mm prime lens.

The Sony FE 85mm F1.4 lens is a good example of this. It offers a wide aperture, even better than your typical 50mm F1.8 lens.

This lens means that you can shoot in low light conditions and not have any problem at all. This can also produce great bokeh if you need to blur focus on your subject and get everything out of focus.

Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the best Sony portrait lenses for a budget-conscious photographer. Plus, rarely will you need to shoot using F1.4.

Then again, you pay for the quality of the shots that it can produce.

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4
Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens example image – Source
Pros
  • Allows you to shoot indoors
  • Creates beautiful bokeh
  • Lets the photographer work at a certain distance from the subject
Cons

    → Jump Back to Table

    8. Sony – FE 50mm F1.8

    Sony – FE 50mm F1.8

    If you have a lower budget, and you want the best bang for your buck, then you might consider the Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Standard Lens.

    This lens is a good pick for beginners and professional photographers alike. Construction-wise, you have a lightweight and compact lens.

    Next, it takes stunning photos. The shots are realistic with great emphasis on sharpness and vibrant colors.

    Another thing that makes the Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Standard Lens a good pick is the fact that it is one of those lenses that bring in great versatility.

    If you are going to compare this with the other best Sony portrait lenses, this can arguably be the best choice.

    The reason is that many find it easy to use in different scenarios. You get to produce great bokeh and even use it indoors.

    Unfortunately, it is known for having bad autofocus. It makes use of a DC motor that takes a lot of pulsing to be able to focus.

    Sony – FE 50mm F1.8
    Sony – FE 50mm F1.8 example image – Source
    Pros
    • Lightweight and compact
    • Vibrant colors
    • Delivers beautiful bokeh
    • Great for indoor shots
    Cons
    • The autofocus motor does a lot of pulsing

    → Jump Back to Table

    9. Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6

    Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6

    A good option for those who are looking to just bring one lens in their bag is the Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS APS-C E-mount lens can be a good pick.

    Imagine having an all-in-one lens that can come in handy for different scenarios.

    If you are shooting portraits, you can use this lens without being too close to your subject. You can give him or her some distance and even get better results.

    The quality of the shots is also amazing with great colors and stunning sharpness. However, it might not work if you are not working in a well-lighted area.

    The AF is known for its quiet and high-speed performance. It is also accurate allowing minimal lag time.

    But the biggest downside is that there is an obvious vignetting that can be seen in the photos.

    Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6
    Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 example image – Source
    Pros
    • Quiet and accurate AF
    • Sharp results
    • Vibrant colors
    • Good range
    Cons
    • Vignetting

    → Jump Back to Table

    10. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8

    Sony FE 70-200mm F4

    A Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS Lens is usually picked by those who are doing macro photography.

    However, this can also be considered as one of the best Sony portrait lenses considering its aperture and range that allows photographers to work from a distance.

    You can also expect great sharpness, vibrant colors, and beautiful bokeh with this lens. This is usually a good pick for photographers shooting sports photography.

    And what makes it stand out from other lenses is the fact that it comes in with highly durable construction. It is dust and moisture resistant giving you the confidence you need when shooting.

    Using the lens is also easy as it comes with an optical stabilization feature.

    Sony FE 70-200mm f/4
    Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 example image – Source
    Pros
    • Great range
    • Easy to use with its great stabilization
    • Vibrant colors
    • Moisture and dust resistant
    Cons

      → Jump Back to Table

      Concluding Remarks

      If you are looking for the best Sony portrait lens, you might as well weigh these options.

      But of course, the definition of the “best” portrait lens may differ based on your requirements and also your budget.

      Try to weigh the pros and cons and see which one fits your needs.

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